Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Vipers Win Team Of The Year:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers Rule

The Vipers, who won a second straight national junior A hockey title, also took Team of the Year for the second straight year. They were represented at the ceremony by owner Duncan Wray, assistant coach Jason Williamson, captain Rob Short and trainer Gord Cochrane.

Said Wray, who has won four Royal Bank crowns: "I was just looking at the trophy and it seems every year we win the national championship, we win the Team of the Year award, which is a great recognition for what we've done. I'm extremely proud of these kids and I'm extremely proud of the coaching staff. They were the guys responsible for all the hard work that they put in."

Short, 20, of Coldstream, accepted the trophy as he gets set to pursue a pro hockey career.

"It's obviously nice," he said. "Last year, we never expected to win it. We were up against a team (Seaton Sonics boys volleyball) that was undefeated the whole year, 110 and 0, or something like that. This year, it's great to win it again, to be recognized. It makes it feel like we earned it last year and we got it back this year. This was the only one that could have got away and we got it."

Added Williamson, who just got back from working a hockey camp in Newfoundland:

"It definitely feels good. Obviously, being up against the Paralympic team which did a great job representing Vernon and our country too, it's a huge honour to be able to win this honour and represent our city well. Obviously, our guys do a good job each and every year."

The Vipers won the Fred Page Cup as B.C. Hockey League champions, disposing of the Powell River Kings in six games. Vernon was 51-6-0-3 in the regular season, just short of the franchise record for points.

The Vipers defeated the Alberta League champion Spruce Grove Saints in a seven-game Doyle Cup regional series to advance to the national tournament in Dauphin, Man., where they ambushed the host Kings 8-1 in the gold-medal game.

Also nominated was the Paralympic Team, including Gaudet, Forrest, sit skier Josh Dueck and Mehain.

Directors for the North Okanagan Athlete and Team of the Year awards are: Dan Currie, Peter McIntyre, Kevin Mitchell, Ken Richardson, Peter Roberts, Betty Selin and John Topping.

Oilers Select Jones In Seventh Round Of NHL Entry Draft:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Oilers select Jones in seventh round of NHL Entry Draft

Published: June 29, 2010

The NHL Entry Draft was the furthest thing from Kellen Jones’ mind Saturday afternoon.

The 19-year-old Kootenay product was busy throwing heat for the Trail Orioles in senior men’s baseball action against the host Kelowna Jays. In between innings, Jones checked his phone and saw all these messages saying “Congratulations.”

“I said ‘What the heck is this for?’”

That’s when he listened to a voicemail from the Edmonton Oilers staff, welcoming him as their seventh-round pick (No. 202 overall) at the draft.

“I told Connor (brother). I think he was on deck.”

Jones admits the news didn’t really help his concentration on the mound.

“I was pitching really well, and then I saw that and lost my focus. They hit me up pretty bad actually.”

Over three seasons with the Vipers, Kellen posted 39 goals and 134 assists for 173 points, forming one of the B.C. Hockey League’s deadliest combinations with Connor.

The Jones boys, with their boundless work ethic, played a vital role in helping the Vipers capture back-to-back Royal Bank Cup national junior A hockey titles. Both are committed to play with the NCAA Division 1 Quinnipiac Bobcats this season.

Kellen was puzzled, and a little saddened, that Connor wasn’t chosen as well.

“Edmonton said they wanted to draft both of us, but could only take one,” said Kellen, who earned the Tubby Schmalz Trophy as the Most Sportsmanlike Player at the Royal Bank Cup in Dauphin.

I was surprised he (Connor) wasn’t chosen because he had such a good year... better than mine. I was sad he couldn’t share it with me.”

Added Vipers’ assistant coach Jason Williamson: “I think they should have probably taken both of them. Kellen showed a little bit of perseverance with the broken jaw, and good for him.

“I watched Stu McGregor, the head scout’s online thing and he basically summed it up, saying ‘He’s 5-foot-9 but plays with a heart that’s probably 5-foot-9.’ And that’s exactly right.

“Those two have a chance just because of the passion and determination they play the game with. They’re pretty special players.”

The good news is, Connor has also received an invite to the Oilers’ prospect orientation camp that Kellen is attending next week in Edmonton. The camp will also give the twins a chance to meet up with former Viper defenceman Kyle Bigos, who the Oilers took with the 99th overall pick at last year’s draft.

Aside from playing with the Orioles, the Jones boys, who likely could have earned NCAA baseball scholarships, will be helping Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner run a hockey camp in Vernon. They will also help their father, Terry, run one in Trail before heading east to Quinnipiac.

Meanwhile, Penticton Vees’ rookie Beau Bennett was selected 20th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins, making him the highest-ever draft pick from California.

Ryan Johansen, another former Vee who played last season with the WHL Portland Winter Hawks, was chosen fourth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Port Alberni Bulldogs’ sniper Mark McMillan was selected in the fourth round (113th) by the Montreal Canadians, and Vees’ defenceman Isaac MacLeod was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the fifth round, 136th overall.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Robinson Next In Line:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Robinson next in line

Published: June 26, 2010

Vernon’s David Robinson started last season with a great big ‘C’ emblazoned on the middle of his chest. The Chilliwack Bruins’ homage to their historic NHL namesake.
The tenacious winger will still have a ‘C’ on his Vernon Vipers jersey to start the B.C. Hockey League season, only this one will be sewn a little closer to his left shoulder.

Robinson, who joined his hometown club in January, helping propel the Snakes to their second straight Royal Bank Cup national title, will be Vernon’s captain for the 2010-11 season.

Robinson, the grandson of Vern Dye, founder of the BCHL and of junior A hockey in Vernon, grew up idolizing many of the former Viper captains as a kid. He studied players like Lennie Rampone, Chad Murray, Kory Davison and Jason Williamson (now the Vipers’ assistant coach), and now his playing style seems to be of the same mold.

“It’s a huge honour. All those guys I looked up to growing up and now to have my name on that list is incredible,” said Robinson, who turned 20 in February (BCHL website says June 9). “It’s going to be great leading the team I grew up watching.”

Being a team leader isn’t exactly a new trend for Robinson. He has been the captain since his Pee Wee days in Vernon minor hockey, right up through to Quad Midget with the Okanagan Rockets. He even wore the ‘C’ for a month while the Bruins were rotating the captaincy for a while two years ago.

“It’ll be nothing new to me,” shrugged Robinson. “I can lean on my experience from then. It’s a little different in junior, but that experience still helps.”

The grit, veteran leadership and unending energy he exhibited on a nightly basis during the Vipers’ playoff run make Robinson a clear choice for captaincy in the eyes of head coach Mark Ferner. Normally one to let his players vote for their team leader, Ferner felt Robinson was the logical choice to guide the team.

“I don’t do it (choose the captain) very often... but the type of player and person David is, it’s what you want in a captain. He brings it all to the ice, and he’s a local guy,” said Ferner.

“He’s a competitive guy – you see it in everything he does. He’s an older guy that the younger guys will look up to.”

Well, not all of them will have to look up to him. Standing 5-foot-10 and weighing 170 pounds, Robinson doesn’t come across as a likely combatant, but he is that, and then some. Playing more of a checking role with the Bruins, Robinson racked up an impressive 265 penalty minutes to go along with 43 points in 169 career WHL games, all with Chilliwack.

But he also showed considerable offensive upside last winter with Vernon, posting 15 goals for 25 points in 20 regular-season games with the Snakes.

With high personnel turnover occurring this offseason, Robinson will be counted on to show the new recruits what it means to be a Viper.

“It’ll be a huge change for all of us. We’ve got a lot of talented guys coming, but we’ve also got some veteran guys like Tommy (Adam Thompson), Kak (Bryce Kakoske) and Stevie (Weinstein) who will help me out.”

Robinson’s first duty as captain will be to throw out the first pitch for the Funtastic Slo-Pitch Tournament’s Pros vs Joes game, 5 p.m. at DND Field #5.

Robinson and James Dobrowolski, a WHL veteran with the Prince George Cougars, are working together at Coldstream Ranch this summer. Their weekday routine consists of work, followed by a session at the gym.

Robinson will take a short break to go house boating on Shuswap Lake for his brother Chris’s bachelor party. He is getting married in October, and Dave is the best man.

SNAKEBITES: The NCAA Division 1 Quinnipiac Bobcats have named former Viper forward Scott Zurevinski their new captain. The Saskatoon product collected 16 goals for 30 points in 39 games in his sophomore season with the Bobcats... Penticton Vees’s rookie Beau Bennett was selected 20th overall in the NHL Entry Draft Friday night in Los Angeles. The 18-year-old Gardena, Calif. product racked up 41 goals and 79 assists in 56 regular-season games with the Vees last season... Ryan Johansen, who played with the Vees in the 2008-09 season, was chosen fourth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Johansen, a North Vancouver native, went on to play Major Junior with the Portland Winter Hawks.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kellen Jones Drafted By Oilers:

This is posted on the Oilers website:

10. SEVENTH ROUND (202nd overall): F Kellen Jones, 5-9, 164, Vernon (BCHL):

Small in stature but promising with his upside and competitive edge, he and his twin, Connor helped guide the Vernon Vipers to two national championships. Kellen ranked third on Vernon in scoring this past season with 52 points.

Listen to Oilers head scout Stu MacGregor on Kellen Jones,

Former Viper Volpatti Earns Academic All-America Recognition:

This is posted on the ECAC website:

May 24, 2010

Volpatti Earns Academic All-America Recognition

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Brown senior foward Aaron Volpatti (Revelstoke, BC) has earned a spot on the District I ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America At-Large teams. Volpatti is a member of the Second Team.

A team captain and the leading goal scorer (17) for the men’s hockey team, Volpatti also led Brown with six power-play goals and three game-winning goals, while finishing third on the team with 32 points and leading ECAC Hockey with nine points (6g, 3a) during the playoffs. The Bears’ MVP in 2010, Volpatti was also named Third-Team All-ECAC and was a Finalist for ECAC Hockey's Top Defensive Forward Award and an Alternate for the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge. Volpatti was also a three-time ECAC Hockey All-Academic selection and will earn the honor for a fourth time this year. The school record holder for penalty minutes in a season (115), Volpatti signed a two-year contract with the NHL’s Canucks at the conclusion of the season.

In addition to his success on the ice, Volpatti was also a volunteer at Fox Point Elementary School, a volunteer at the British Columbia Fireman Burn Fund, and conducted research in an Exercise FMRI Pilot Study, examining brain imaging before and after exercise. Volpatti will graduate later this month with a degree in Human Biology and held a 3.45 GPA at the time of Nomination.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Former Viper Dorais At The 2010 World Ball Hockey Championships:

This is posted on the Hammers Blog:

Former Vernon Viper & current Alberni Valley Bulldog forward Trent Dorais and his teammates on Team Canada are having great success at the 2010 World Ball Hockey Championships in Austria.....Canada has already secured first place and a spot in the Gold Medal Game. They play the US tonight, but it won't impact their place in the standings. The update on Trent - he has been playing defence, he has two goals, and he's managed to stay out of the penalty box.

Trent's ball hockey games in Villach are to be broadcast over the web,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Former Viper Felde Traded To Rapid City:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman-forward Erik Felde has been traded to the Rapid City Rush. Felde now joins former Vipers defenceman, Cody Bostock & former Vipers forward, Les Reaney who also play for the Rush.

Rush Acquire Three Players in Completion of Trades

May 14, 2010 - Central Hockey League (CHL) Rapid City Rush

(Rapid City, SD) - Just over a week after claiming the Ray Miron President's Cup, the Rapid City Rush have added a trio of players to the roster for next season. The Rush receive forwards Joe Guenther and Erik Felde from the Amarillo Gorillas along with defenseman Scott Kalinchuk from the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. All three players join Rapid City as future considerations from trades made during the 2009-10 campaign.
"After the success we had this season and with hopes of getting the core players back, to add three quality players is fantastic for our team going forward," said Head Coach Joe Ferras. "Having previously coached Joe Guenther in Amarillo and knowing the type of character and compete level coupled with Joe's ability to play both wings and knack around the net, makes him an instant threat in our lineup. Erik [Felde] was a player that made instant impact against us throughout the regular season. He has tremendous speed, along with the ability to play both forward and defense, and has tons of family here in Rapid City that should make the transition easier. Being familiar with Danton Cole, Scott's [Kalinchuk] coach in Alabama-Huntsville, and having the chance to see him log tons of minutes in seven game series, we know he will be a nice addition to defensive corp."

Directly following training camp, the Rush dealt defenseman Jake Obermeyer and goaltender Mike Brown to the Gorillas in exchange for future considerations. With that, the Rush selected forward Joe Guenther and forward/defenseman Erik Felde from Amarillo's final roster.

Guenther is a veteran winger coming off of one of his most productive seasons where he finished 2nd on the team in goals and points. Last year, the Buffalo, New York native collected 27 goals and 25 assists for 52 points, all of which rank second among his career highs. Guenther was named Oakley CHL Player of the Week (10/19/09) for his work on opening weekend (4-3-7). The 8-year veteran will be reunited with coaches Joe Ferras and Mark DeSantis who were a part of the 2005-06 Amarillo Gorillas.

"I'm very pumped to get chance to play for Joe Ferras again, one of my favorite coaches of all time," said Guenther. "I've heard nothing but great things about the town of Rapid City and what a first class franchise it is. I'm also very excited to reunite with all of my teammates from my days in Amarillo. Overall, it's a great feeling to join the Rush and hopefully we'll be able to defend the championship."

Felde is a versatile skater that can play both wing and defense. In his second season, Felde compiled 7 goals and 20 points in 39 games for Amarillo. The Anchorage, Alaska native had a stretch of 10 points in 10 games from January 9th through the 31st.

Defenseman Scott Kalinchuk completes a trade in which the Rush sent defenseman Clay Plume to Bossier-Shreveport in exchange for defenseman Kirk Medernach and future considerations.

Kalinchuk is a 6'1", 195-pound defenseman who spent last year's rookie season with the Mudbugs as well as the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. In 48 games with the Mudbugs last season, the Bowsman, Manitoba native collected 5 goals, 12 assists for 17 points to go along with 93 penalty minutes. Prior to that, Kalinchuk played four years of college hockey with Alabama-Huntsville where he accumulated 45 points (11g, 34a) and 136 PIM.

"It feels great to become a part of the Rush," said Kalinchuk. "I enjoyed my time in Bossier City, but it's also pretty neat to go to a place that just won it all. To know that Joe [Ferras] wanted me, especially after the season they just had, is a great feeling. I was really surprised to be joining a new team, but once I heard it was Rapid City, it was a definite feather in my cap."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Year In Review With Former Vernon Laker Glen Metropolit:

This is posted on the Canadiens website:

Year in review – Glen Metropolit

Wednesday, 16.06.2010 / 5:00 PM / News

MONTREAL - All Glen Metropolit ever wanted was an opportunity.

At age 35, Metropolit finally got his chance to shine in 2009-10 and he made the most of it. While many are quick to dismiss Jacques Martin as a defensive coach, his hiring as the Habs’ head coach made a scorer out of Metro.

Known more for his work in a checking role over his previous seven NHL seasons, Metropolit was given the chance to play on the power play this season and he never looked back. As his confidence grew with every power play minute he played, Metropolit tied Brian Gionta for the team lead with 10 power play markers on his way to notching a career-high 16 goals. As if that weren’t enough, his 10 goals with the man advantage were more than he’d scored over 338 games in his NHL career heading into 2009-10.

As his dream season was humming along, Metropolit was gearing up for the playoffs when he hit a road block late in the season. The veteran center dislocated his left shoulder against the Devils on March 27 and immediately launched the healing process.

Expected to be shelved for 6-to-8 weeks and quite possibly the rest of the season, Metropolit had other ideas. Just over three weeks later, he was back on skates, forcing his coach’s hand to insert him into the lineup against the Capitals. After failing to ever reach the second round of the playoffs in any of his four prior postseason appearances, Metropolit helped lead the Habs to the third round of the playoffs this scoring.

Now back in the familiar spot of staring down the possibility of unrestricted free agency as of July 1, Metropolit could be on the move again. Counting Montreal as his seventh NHL address, Metro would like nothing more than to continue to call the Bell Centre home.

Manny Almela is a writer for

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jon Milhouse – Versatility Personified:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Jon Milhouse – versatility personified

by Don Klepp Added 2010-06-22

The Vipers couldn’t believe their good fortune when Jon Milhouse requested a move to Vernon prior to this season. The smooth-skating native of Yorba Linda, California had been the Victoria Grizzlies’ top playoff performer last year and had sparkled versus the Vipers in the 2009 RBC tourney.

He says that he “had a great time at last year’s RBC because it was in Victoria, but we didn’t win. I came to Vernon to win a national championship, so I couldn’t ask for anything better. To go out a winner in your 20-year old season is great, especially with this bunch of guys.”

His versatility was important to the Viper cause this year. At one time or another, he played on all four lines, including centre for Kellen Jones and Sahir Gill when Connor missed the round robin games at this year’s RBC Cup. Observers believed that the trio had been together all year because of how well they performed together.

He started the season on right wing, as he helped form a very productive unit with Braden Pimm and Mike Collins. After Christmas, he played mainly at centre, most often with Dylan Walchuk and with either Bryce Kakoske or Patrick McGillis.

He prefers playing centre: “That’s what I know best, what I’ve usually played. On wing, you’re up and down the boards a lot, except for the odd time when you come across and switch sides. I like the freedom and creativity at centre. Moving around from line to line and from centre to wing is not what I would have preferred, but it was all for the best.”

A point-per-game man during his three-year BCHL career, Jon also became a valuable penalty killer with the Vipers. “This was my first full year penalty killing. I had done a bit previously, but not to the extent that I was out this year. I like it now, especially when you break up a play and get a chance to score a shortie.” The speedster notched three short handed goals this season.

He also became the Vipers’ most reliable faceoff artist, so he saw a lot of action in the latter stages of close games. That part of his varied skill set became particularly valuable in the playoffs, Jon’s favourite part of the season.

Jon is well-travelled, having played for the WHL’s Everett Silvertips and Portland Winterhawks, in addition to the Santa Fe Roadrunners of the NAHL. He started his career in Everett in 2006. After spending a full year with the Victoria Grizzlies in 2007-08, he started the following season in Portland, but was persuaded to rejoin the Grizzles, who were preparing to host the 2009 RBC Cup.

He has some interesting comments about the WHL versus the BCHL. “The two leagues have got a lot closer. The speed is about the same, and there a lot of skillful players in the BCHL. The big difference would be the size of the WHL players, even the younger kids. Also, most Dub teams have more depth than most BCHL teams, with the possible exception of the Vipers and the Vees.”

“The other huge difference is the travel,” he says. “The WHL plays in two states and four provinces. In my second year, we had that Portland to Brandon trip – just brutal. On that same trip, we got off the bus in the middle of winter on the prairies and I didn’t know what to think. So cold! But I loved playing in rinks like the one in Prince Albert – great ice, great atmosphere.”

His powerful, smooth skating stride has elicited comments about the years of power skating classes he must have taken, but it’s all natural. “I’ve never taken a skating lesson,” he says, “ever since I started at age three or four. I think it’s just genetics. I’ve always been able to run fast, whether in track or in cross-country, and that’s translated into my skating.”

He does train in the off-season with the Anaheim Ducks’ trainer. (Jon’s father is the team doctor for the Ducks and for the Anaheim Angels.) However, he doesn’t specifically try to become a better skater.

Next, he hopes to play pro hockey, probably in Europe where the large rinks really suit his mobility and speed. His versatility will come in handy, too.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Vipers Grad Zurevinski Named Captain At Quinnipiac:

Vipers grad Zurevinski named captain at Quinnipiac

Sunday, June 20, 2010 - Submitted by Quinnipiac Athletics

Quinnipiac Men’s Ice Hockey Head Coach Rand Pecknold has announced that Vernon Vipers graduate Scott Zurevinski will serve as the Bobcats' captain for the 2010/11 NCAA Division I season.

The 22-year old spent two seasons with the Vipers, totalling 47 goals and 94 points in 96 career BCHL games. He becomes the seventh junior in Quinnipiac’s 35-year history to earn the “C” for his game sweater, and the first since Ty Deinema was named a captain in his third year in 2004-05.

Zurevinski was named the team’s Rookie of the Year in 2008/09 after totaling 11 goals and seven assists for 18 points. Last season, Zurevinski improved on all offensive numbers, tallying 16 goals and 14 assists for 30 points. He became the first Bobcat sophomore to reach the 30-point mark since Brandon Wong in 2007-08.

This season, Zurevinski tied for a team-high with three assists against Niagara on Jan. 23, 2010. He scored in seven of Quinnipiac’s first eight games, including multiple-point efforts in half of them, capped off by a two-goal, one-assist showing against Dartmouth on Nov. 14. He also scored twice against Rensselaer on Feb. 19.

Pecknold also announced that former Salmon Arm SilverBacks' defenceman Michael Glaicar has been named as one of two assistant captains. The 21-year old completed his second year on the blue line for the Bobcats during the 2009/10 season, passing out six assists in 39 games played. Glaicar is a characterized as a big, physical defenseman and a natural leader.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Former Viper Chad Brownlee's New Song "Hope" Released:

Former Vernon Vipers defenseman, Chad Brownlee (2001-03) who helped Vernon win the 2003 BCHL Championship has hung up his skates and now is a country music artist. Brownlee just released his new video "Hope" please check it out,

Brownlee's new song "Hood of my car" was just released the other day on Canadian radio. Check out a sample on the new video,

For more on Chad Brownlee visit his website, &

Saturday, June 19, 2010

2010 Royal Bank Cup Final Highlights:

I finally found highlights from the 2010 Royal Bank Cup Final between the Vernon Vipers & the Dauphin Kings. Check them out,

Friday, June 18, 2010

City To Recognize Vipers:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

City to recognize Vipers

By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star

Published: June 17, 2010

Canada’s top junior A hockey team will be officially recognized.

Vernon council has given the green light to new signs at the gateway to the community to honour the Vernon Vipers.

“We will improve the signage at the entrances to the city and recognize the team as the six-time champions (of the RBC Royal Bank Cup),” said Mayor Wayne Lippert.

There are presently signs in place, but they are small and the information on them is out of date.

City staff must determine how much it will cost for the three signs.

Safe Communities Contract Questioned

Some Vernon politicians fear outlying communities are being overcharged for a service.

A four-and-a-half-year contract has been developed so Coldstream, Lumby, Spallumcheen, Enderby and Armstrong can access the Safe Communities Unit. A seven per cent fee will be charged.

“These are smaller communities than we are,” said Coun. Patrick Nicol of their ability to pay.

However, staff says the seven per cent fee is required to cover the administrative support structure the service provides, and that all costs still aren’t being covered.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dan Nycholat’s Gamble Pays Off:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Dan Nycholat’s gamble pays off

by viper staff Added 2010-06-17

“On balance, coming to Vernon this year has been the best decision of my life.”

Those are the words of Dan Nycholat, a two-year veteran of NCAA hockey who chose to leave Northeastern University this past summer and go back to Jr. “A” hockey. When he left the Boston-area college, he was well on his way to earning a business degree and he had played 48 games in two years with the Huskies, one of the best known programs in U.S. college hockey. However, he wasn’t happy with his role there, and he felt he wasn’t developing his game as much as he wanted.

So, he took a plunge, gambling first that he could find a Jr. “A” program that could help him meet his twin goals of building his game and moving his academic career forward. The other gamble was whether another U.S. school would commit to him for the remaining two years of his NCAA eligibility, especially after he had jumped from Northeastern.

To make matters more difficult, the NCAA puts up formidable barriers for any athlete who tries to move from one school to another. He had to satisfy the requirements of the NCAA’s 4-2-4 rule. First, he had to enrol in a two-year school and take a minimum of four classes per semester. Then, he had to use those classes to graduate with an associate degree. There were other requirements, too, but we won’t get into all of that.

He picked the Vipers, who were looking for a 20-year defenceman and who were happy to help Dan reach his goals. With a lot of help from the Dean’s Office at the Vernon Campus of Okanagan College, Dan put together a program of studies, only to be told by the NCAA that Okanagan College didn’t qualify because it’s not a U.S.A. based school. So, he had to start all over again.

After an arduous, frustrating search, Dan and his advisors were finally able to find an online college that would satisfy the NCAA requirements. Then, the fun began because it was early October by this time. Dan would have to cram four university courses into 2.5 months of study. He managed that task, and then took four more courses after Christmas. He finished with a grade point average of 3.5, which means that most of his marks were A’s. And he earned an Associate Degree in General Studies.

Doing a degree online has its challenges, says Dan. “It takes dedication and time management. There’s no time for anything but the studies and the hockey, if you want to succeed in both. I’m glad I’d spent two previous years at university.”

Seeing his achievements, the prestigious Dartmouth College offered Dan an athletic scholarship in March. It didn’t hurt that Dan was leading Viper defencemen in scoring at the time, and that the team had named Dan its top defenceman at its awards night.

He says he’s excited about going to Dartmouth. “It’s a really good school, and I’ll finish my degree in two years there. I’ll see where that takes me, whether it’s hockey or using my degree to make a career. Also, I think I’m now ready to fully contribute to a college team.”

One of the reasons why he feels confident about his game stems from what he has learned from his coaches here: “a lot about playing defence, but more than that, they’ve taught us a lot about hockey in general. Yes, Mark and Jason have passed along on-ice skills and hockey sense, but also off-ice stuff. Mark excels in the mental game, and in how to prepare yourself to perform.”

Dan’s accurate passing, poise with the puck, and shooting ability earned him lots of power play time, and he contributed. Nine of his 11 goals this year came on the power play, and many other goals came from rebounds or deflections of his hard, low accurate point shots. He finished the season with 58 points, including two power play goals that set the tone for the Vipers’ playoff series win over the Penticton Vees.

He says that the long playoff series leading up to the RBC Cup helped prepare the team for the elimination games in the national championship tournament. “You can look at it as self-inflicted pain, being up in those series against Powell River and Spruce Grove, and then being forced to a seventh game. But it was a good growing experience. I think it made us better players and a better team in the end.”

“The previous game sevens really helped us be ready for the RBC final game. Unless you’ve had that elimination-game experience, you don’t know what to expect from the fans, or how you will handle your nerves. On May 9, we were all ready. We were focused and calm. I think that’s the most important thing.”

His words echo what Mark Ferner had said about an hour before that final game: “That’s a calm, confident group in there. I’m not worried at all.”

Snakes Salute:

This letter was in Sundays Morning Star Newspaper:

Snakes Salute

I would like to thank the Vernon Vipers hockey team for making the Vernon fans extremely proud and for giving us something to cheer about and brag about for the second year in a row.
Our Vernon Vipers are one of the most sportsmanlike teams I have had the pleasure of watching, and it is easy to be proud of our team.
All of our players are very nice young men and they demonstrate qualities of true gentlemen, on and off the ice. You made me very proud to watch you this past season right up to the final game in Manitoba and bringing home the RBC Cup for the second year in a row.
I love watching and cheering for our Vernon Vipers players, (go Cole, Thunderstruck).
Congratulations to all of our graduating team players that are moving on, and good luck in all your future endeavours, and to the rest of the boys returning for the next season, I can't wait to see what next year will bring.

V. Hoath

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pimm Impresses Huskies:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Pimm impresses Huskies

by Northeastern Huskies Added 2010-06-16

Braden Pimm, a wiry, left-handed centerman from British Columbia, skates onto Northeastern’s forward corps after acting as an indispensable tool in the Vernon Vipers’ (BCHL) lineup for the last three seasons. Not only did the six-footer rack up 161 points the last three seasons, but he bore the ‘A’ on his sweater for the last two, indicating his leadership qualities he can bring to NU even as a freshman.

In just 59 contests last year, Pimm torched the scoring sheet for 68 points (25-43-68) as the first-line centerman. The Fort St. John, B.C. native’s efforts helped lift Vernon to its second-consecutive BCHL Championship and RBC Cup as National Junior A Champions by scoring eight points (3-5-8) in the playoffs. The Vipers posted a 51-6-0-3 mark in 2009-10 with Pimm acting as assistant captain.

That same season, Pimm earned Vernon’s ‘Coach’s Award’ and was named to the BCHL All-Star Team for the second-consecutive season.

In 2008-09, NU’s newest forward totaled 54 points (24-30-54) in 60 games in his first season donning the ‘A’ and tallied 11 points (5-6-11) in Vernon’s first run to capturing the RBC Cup. Pimm locked down a spot on the BCHL All-Star Team that season as the Vipers skated away with National Junior A Championship honors.

Pimm’s first season with Vernon was productive, as well, as he recorded 39 points (15-24-39) in 60 games.

“He is a very good centerman who excels at both ends of the ice,” assistant coach Albie O’Connell said. “He is a fierce competitor with good vision and playmaking ability.”

One of Pimm’s intangibles is his durability. In three seasons with Vernon, he missed only one game, including the regular season and playoffs. In all, he participated in 222 fixtures.

Before dressing in Vernon’s uniform, Pimm tasted success with the Midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds as his team captured the MAC’s Tournament.

Pimm’s knack for the game and productivity in the British Columbia Hockey League will immediately bolster Northeastern’s offensive prowess. As a player who has been touted for his hard-working attitude, his blue-collar style of play will be welcomed with open arms at Matthews Arena for years to come.

Pimm will dress in the #14 jersey this season.

New Vipers Signs Get Go Ahead:

This is posted on the Kiss FM website:

New Vipers Signs Get Go Ahead

Written by Peter McIntyre

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Vernon city council has given the green light to updating the Vernon Viper signs at the three entrances to the city.
Councillor Patrick Nicol (pictured) says city staff still have to finalize the costs.

"The signs will be nothing incredibly elaborate but superior to what we currently have, and there isn't a budget number attached to it until we hear back from the staff, but certainly it's been sorely out of date for some time."

The new signs will be larger, and note the team has won six national Royal Bank Cup championships.

Former Vipers Head Coach, Mark Holick Press Conference:

Lindsay Kramer from was at yesterdays Anaheim press conference, where the Syracuse Crunch introduced former Vernon Vipers head coach & gm Mark Holick to the media.

The Ducks waddle into town with a good first impression

Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lindsay Kramer/The Post-Standard

I have way too much good stuff from this morning's Anaheim press conference to fit into a single story, which is coming later. So here are some outtakes from Tuesday gathering to introduce new Crunch head coach Mark Holick and assistant Mike Stapleton.

For whatever first impressions are worth, and sometimes they are worth very little, Anaheim got it right. I was a little leery at first about the lack of experience in the combination of Holick and Stapleton, neither of whom has ever coached in the pros. But the eyeball portion of the test is over, and both new guys score very high.

Share Holick, 41, is sharp as a dagger, with a piercing look, a strong chin and a presence that says, hey, listen up. I'd hate to be the linesman who blows an offsides call and then stations himself next to the Crunch bench. Or the opponent who cheap-shots a Crunch player. Or a Crunch player who makes a bad turnover.

Stapleton, 44, is out of that classic assistant's mold, a calmer sort whom the players can go to for a softer ear. He is said to be a wit, although he was a little reserved Tuesday.

"I call him the voice of reason right now,'' Holick said. "I tend to get a little excited. I'm sure he's the voice of reason who will calm me down.''

Holick has never played in the NHL. He has that underdog, scrapper's edge to him. Ducks GM Bob Murray said the first thing that caught his eye about Holick was the way he can make teams with less talent play above their heads.

"It's instilling the belief that your team can compete with anybody. At the end of the day, there are no excuses here,'' Holick said.

Stapleton skated 697 games there, playing for a roll call that includes Glen Sather, Scotty Bowman, Mike Keenan, Bob Crawford, Jim Schoenfeld, etc. He also has a great resource in his dad, Pat, another long-time NHLer.

"I bring some experience,'' Stapleton said. "I've been through a lot of what these kids are going to go through. I have an understanding of this game, playing at a higher level.''

"I did my homework,'' Murray said of the hirings. "There was nothing but great things said by people I trust in the business.''

The final standings may tell a completely different story, and really it's the only one that matters. But on a beautiful day in the middle of June, the 2010-11 Crunch looks to be in good hands so far.

- Murray said there's been a minor reorganization of duties in the Anaheim front office. The upshot for Syracuse is that Bob Ferguson, not David McNab, will be the Ducks' official most hands-on with the Crunch. His title will be Syracuse assistant GM. Ferguson will spend a lot of time here, in-between his scouting duties. Ferguson was at Tuesday's gathering and Murray pointed him out as the man Crunch fans should go to with their issues.

"If you see him walking around, (complain) to him,'' Murray said.

Later, Murray added: "We're all involved. We have a presence, where people come through. We like to be around.''

- Holick said since he was named head coach of the Crunch a few weeks ago, he's chatted with pro coaching buddies of his such as Cory Clouston, Bill Peters and Curtis Hunt.

"This advice I get is you got to where you are doing what you're doing,'' Holick said. "Don't change. We're not here to try and re-invent the wheel. We're trying to get the best out of the players and help them get to the next level. And hopefully we win more than we lose.''

- Murray, of course, would not comment on any possible minor-league personnel moves, such as bringing in a veteran third goalie or re-signing Jon Mirasty. He just referred to the traditional staples of success, being strong up the middle and in net.

"Money is, as always, an issue,'' he said. "We'll do the best we can. It's business. We have to run it like a business.''

- Murray joked, or maybe he wasn't joking, that he is thankful Anaheim wound up in Syracuse instead of Springfield.

"We didn't want to go to Springfield at all,'' he said.

He said Syracuse is an attractive place to play in the eyes of free agents.

"Players like to come and play here,'' he said. "They like being here. They like the atmosphere here.''

- County Executive Joanie Mahoney was on hand to lend her support. Syracuse owner Howard Dolgon presented her with a framed picture of the crowd from the outdoor game, which Mahoney supported from Day One. She told the Ducks folks that if they need anything to stop by her office.

"This organization is very important to the community,'' she said of the Crunch. "We are doing everything we can to make this facility (the War Memorial) something to be proud of.''

- Caught up with owner Howard Dolgon on a few things:

- The team's home opener vs. Lake Erie on Oct. 9 is a throwback night, part of a special series the AHL is holding to commemorate its 75 anniversary. Dolgon said the Crunch is pondering an Opening Night II, where it can bust out its new jerseys, retooled with Ducks colors.

- The Crunch's golf tournament is July 14. The team has approached Brandon Sugden, Zenon Konopka and Brent Sopel, among others, about attending.

- Dolgon is still interested in playing a game in the Carrier Dome in 2010-11. He said he'd consider another outdoor game, but not this year.

- The team had about 100 applications for its open radio job and has narrowed it down to six or seven. All the remaining applicants have either AHL or ECHL broadcasting experience.

- The leading contender for the team's theme song this year is the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations.'' Dolgon likes the tie-in with the themes of a fresh start and California connections.

He said GM Vance Lederman came up with the concept. I asked poor Vance if he is taking a vacation this summer.

"He takes vacations all winter,'' Dolgon chirped. "Why should he go anywhere in the summer?''

Lindsay Kramer

Vipers Sign Prospects:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers sign prospects

Published: June 15, 2010

They won’t be booking a ticket to the Royal Bank Cup just yet, but the Vernon Vipers are certainly restocking the cupboard with some quality players.

Shortly after signing Thunder Bay’s Todd Skirving and Vancouver’s Marcus Basara (Notre Dame Hounds), the Vipers have committed to Los Angeles Jr. Kings forward Darren Nowick, and Calgary Northwest Flames defenceman Brett Corkey for the 2010-11 B.C. Hockey League season.

Nowick played last season in the Mid West Elite Hockey league. In 48 games he scored 25 goals and 22 assists for 47 points.

Vipers’ head coach Mark Ferner calls Nowick a skilled two-way centreman who was one of the top players at a recent prospects camp he attended in California.

“He’s a player that I really, really like. He’s got a tremendous work ethic and he’s very dedicated to being a hockey player,” said Ferner.

“I’m going to put some pressure on him here and say he has a work ethic like the Jonesies (Connor and Kellen). There’s not a lot of holes in his game. He’s an endless worker and a skilled guy.”

Corkey is a smooth skating blueliner who has shown an ability to contribute offensively. Last season he scored six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 29 games.

“He’s not overly big, but he’s a puck-moving guy,” said Ferner. “He’s going to be put right in the fire because we don’t have a lot of guys coming back.”

Corkey got into some Alberta Junior Hockey League action as a call-up with the Calgary Canucks.

Meanwhile, the Vipers have sent defenceman Darrin Robak to the Cowichan Valley Capitals to complete the future considerations portion of the deal that brought d-man Curtis Gedig to the Vernon at the January trade deadline.

The Vipers had already dealt defenceman Nick Amies and forward Drew George to Cowichan as part of the deal.

Robak, who also played forward last season, had two goals for seven points in 17 games. Ferner thanked him for his time with the Vipers and wished him the best of luck with the Capitals.

Jones Twins Clip D’backs:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Trail clips D’backs

Published: June 15, 2010

The Trail Orioles swiped a pair of games from the Vernon ANAF Diamondbacks in senior men’s inter-league baseball play Saturday at Marshall Field.

The Orioles opened with a 9-2 win and followed that with a 6-1 decision.

In the opener, the Orioles jumped all over a trio of Vernon errors in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead. The Diamondbacks got a run back in the second as Steve Daamen singled with one out, then scored on a bases-loaded single by Tyler Amiel.

The Orioles, who will host the 2010 B.C. Senior Men’s Baseball Championships, responded in the fifth with three more runs, before the D-backs got another run back. Amiel was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Anderson, before Josh Wade (2-for-3) drove him in.

Trail pitcher Kellen Jones (Vernon Viper grad) shut the Diamondbacks down after that, tossing a complete game four-hitter.

Geoff Cleavely ripped a line shot into left field to complete the D-backs’ offence.

Game 2 saw Trail score three times in the first inning. D-backs’ starter John McInnis settled down and put up a couple zeroes until the fifth, where Anderson inherited a first-and-second situation. Anderson struggled with his command, walking five in one-and-a-third innings, somehow managing to only give up two runs.

The only run the D-backs scored came on a wild pitch. Daamen, Wade, Amiel, Anderson and Bryce Whitehouse all had singles.

Next up for the Diamondbacks is a mid-week Okanagan Major Baseball League showdown with the Kelowna Jays, Wednesday, June 23 at Marshall.

For more information, including statistics, visit

Nowick & Corkey Join Vipers:

The Vipers have added another young prospect who sounds like he can put up some good numbers. 17 yr old forward, Darren Nowick has committed to the Vipers for this coming season after playing last year with the LA Jr Kings hockey team in the Mid West Elite Hockey league. In 48 games he scored 25 goals and 22 assists for 47 points. Nowick is from Long Beach, California and is listed at 5’10 and 155 lbs. Nowick is the fourth recruit that has committed to play in Vernon this season. Nowick sounds like he can put up some pretty good numbers, but looks like he may have to bulk up a bit over the summer. Another kid from California that has come to play for the Vipers. Mark Ferner and the Vipers scouting staff seem to have a good source from California as Nowick is the 8th player over the last few years to come from California to play for the Vipers. Here’s a list,

Jonathan Milhouse (2009-10) Yorba Linda, California
Cory Kane (2008-10) Irvine, California
Kevin Kraus (2007-10) Garden Grove, California
Steve Weinstein (2008-11) Los Angeles, California
Kyle Bigos (2007-09) Upland, California
Ryan Santana (2008-09) Yorba Linda, California
Justin Thomas (2007-08) Saratoga, California

After trading 2nd year defenseman, Darrin Robak yesterday to the Cowichan Capitals, the Vipers are left with just two returning d-men from last years championship team, Adam Thompson & Steve Weinstein. Well the Vipers have added a third defenseman to the list with the addition of 18 yr old Brett Corkey. Corkey played last year with the the Northwest Flames in Calgary picking up 6 goals and 9 assists for 15 points in 29 games played. Corkey also played one game as an “AP” with the AJHL Calgary Canucks. In 2008-09 Corkey played one game with the AJHL Calgary Royals. Corkey is from Calgary, Alberta and is listed at 5”10 and 170 lbs. By the sounds of things Corkey is a good, smooth skating d-man who can contribute offensively. Brett will join Adam Thompson and Patrick McGillis who are also from Calgary.

I did some research on both new players and couldn’t come up with much info. In Mark Ferners first three season’s with the Vipers Mark has been very quiet with any announcements of new recruits etc over the off season. Fans would hear of one maybe two new recruits and then this would be all the news we would hear until the start of training camp. Well this off season has been a bit of a different story with the Vipers announcing six new recruits for this coming season. It will be interesting to see if we hear of any more recruits named over the next few weeks.

Id like to welcome both Brett & Darren to Vernon and wish them all the best this year with the Vipers.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nowick & Corkey Commit To Vipers:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

two new recruits!

by viper staff | Added 2010-06-15

June 15, 2010

The Vernon Vipers Hockey Club is pleased to announce two commitments. Darren Nowick, a forward from the LA Jr Kings and Brett Corkey, a defenseman from the Calgary Northwest Flames have both committed to play for the Vipers for the 2010-11 hockey season.

Nowick played last season for the LA Jr Kings hockey team in the Mid West Elite Hockey league. In 48 games he scored 25 goals and 22 assists for 47 points. Nowick is a skilled two-way center man who has a very good work ethic. He was one of the top players at a recent prospect camp in California that the Vipers attended.

Corkey played last season for the Northwest Flames in Calgary. He also played some games for the Calgary Canucks of the AJHL. Brett is a smooth skating defenseman who is able to contribute offensively. Last season he scored 6 goals and 9 assists for 15 points in 29 games played.

The Vernon Vipers are very excited to be able to add players of this ability and would like to welcome them to the team. For more information please contact the Vipers office at 250 542 6022.

Giller’s Goals:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

giller’s goals

by viper staff Added 2010-06-15 Back

There are two ways to look at Sahir Gill’s goals. His team mates would probably focus on his scoring. For a player who doesn’t often unleash booming shots, Sahir Gill gets a lot of big goals.

On the other hand, the mature 18-year old is more likely to discuss his career goals and his chosen profession.

Sahir joined the Vipers in September 2008 as a highly touted 16-year old, pursued by the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants. He chose the Jr. “A” route in order to develop his skill set and keep his college options open. (As it turns out, he was being courted by Boston University at the time.)

Before coming to Vernon, Sahir played minor hockey in his hometown of Terrace and then in Abbotsford. He then spent a year at the Okanagan Hockey School in Penticton. At the end of that year, he went to Alberni Valley’s 2008 spring camp, but was told he wasn’t ready for the BCHL. That fall, he got an invitation to the Vipers’ camp, through Viper goaltending coach, Sean Matile. As a result of his strong showing, he was offered one of the Vipers’ two 16-year old spots.

At first, the skilled youngster was in and out of the Viper lineup, but he eventually ended up on the Jones line, one of Mark Ferner’s canny moves last year. He has enjoyed playing with the Joneses. “They’re great: their work ethic, their pinpoint passing, and their creativity are second to none. I sort of got into their mindset as the season progressed and we did pretty well in the playoffs.”
(Note: the three linemates finished 1-2-3 in Viper playoff scoring last season.)

He had a number of critical goals last season, including a Doyle Cup game winner on his 17th birthday, in Grande Prairie. He also scored the overtime goal in the Fred Page clincher against Powell River last year.

This year, he has retained that knack for getting big goals. He gives a lot of the credit for those goals to the Jones twins: “basically, I just go to the net, knowing that they’ll get the puck there. I look for deflections, rebounds, pucks off my skates or shin pads … you know, the greasy stuff!”

He’s being modest, of course. The three-way passing plays executed by that line have thrilled fans in British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba. Still, most of his goals come from in front of goal.

One exception was the 35-footer he scored to get the Vipers’ first goal in the RBC round-robin match with Brockville. With his team down 2-0 in the third period, Sahir fired a shot from the deep corner and caught Justin Gilbert off guard. The strike opened the floodgates against the red-hot goalie and the Vipers went on to win, 4-2.

The 185-pound Gill has become a physical presence, pasting defencemen in their zone and freeing pucks for Connor and Kellen. He says, “As a 16-year old, I was a little timid, but I wanted to hit more this year because it’s a big part of the game, and I realized that you won’t have to fight some big bruiser just because you body check someone. Besides, those Jones kids really lay some licks, and I wanted to keep up with them.”

In the 2009 off season, Sahir went to the USHL’s Chicago Steel and although he had success there and “was treated really well” he says, he returned to the Vipers after Christmas. He returned “for personal reasons and because the Vipers are a special organization, with an unmatched tradition.”

He had been off skates for a month when he rejoined the team, so his play was a little sluggish at first. However, he gradually regained his form and was placed on the Jones line. The three players flashed their magic almost immediately.

Next year, Sahir will suit up for the University of Boston Terriers, who pursued him right from the 2008 training camp. He delayed his acceptance of the Terriers’ offer because his age prevented him from a flydown that would allow him to see the university and its programs first hand. Despite his brief sojourn in Chicago, Boston University maintained its commitment to Sahir, a fact that he really appreciates.

Eventually, he will study law, a profession that has intrigued him after discussions with his grandfather, a lawyer. Bet on Sahir Gill to fulfill that goal the way he has continued to meet his hockey goals.

Robak Heading To The Island:

On October 25th The Vernon Vipers Hockey Club transfers the playing rights of Drew George (91)(F), Nick Aimes (92)(D) and future considerations to the Cowichan Valley Captials Hockey Club for the playing rights of Curtis Gedig (91)(D) and future considerations. Yesterday the future considerations part of the Vernon side of the trade was reported on the Cowichan Capitals website with 2nd year defenseman, Darrin Robak heading to the Island as part of the futures. Rumors of Robak heading to Cowichan were going around just after the Vipers won the Royal Bank Cup. The question now is, Cowichan owes Vernon future considerations in this trade, I wonder who or if the Vipers will get someone from the Caps in return?

The Vipers just lost a future steady defenseman in Darrin Robak, as the Cowichan Capitals now have two former Vipers d-men in Robak & Nick Amies, both who have RBC Cup rings. The Caps are getting a steady 2nd year d-man who can play both on the point and up front. Robak has some good size, can skate well and handle the puck. Robak was called upon last year to play forward on occasion with the Vipers and did a fine job. Actually in the games I did watch Darrin play up front, I was very impressed. Due to a veteran Vipers roster Robak saw limited ice time seeing most of the action from the stands last year. With some work Robak will be a steady defenseman for the Capitals. Robak needs a bit of work defensively in his own end but with some playing time in Cowichan will improve as the season goes on. I really liked Darrin and was looking forward to watching him play in a Vipers jersey for the next season or two.

With the Vipers losing most of their roster this coming season, Robak was one of three veteran d-men returning to the backend. Veterans Adam Thompson and Steve Weinstein are the two remaining defensemen on the Vipers blue line with the loss to Robak.

After looking at the Capitals roster on the BCHL website it looks as if the Caps now have seven d-men for this coming season.

Nick Amies
Brett Apted
Alex Halloran
Rajan Sidhu
Shayne Taker
Nicholas Wong
Darrin Robak

The Vipers will now be looking at filling their blue line via new recruits or some off season trades. It will be interesting to see who Mark Ferner and the Vipers scouting staff have brought in on defence for this coming season.

With four new recruits committed and a possible eight returning veterans back from last year’s championship team, let’s take a look at the Vipers updated roster.

Forward Bryce Kakoske 20 yrs old
Forward Patrick McGillis 19 yrs old
Forward David Robinson 20 yrs old
Forward Dylan Walchuk 18 yrs old
Forward Trevor Fitzgerald 17 yrs old
Forward Aaron Hadley 16 yrs old
Forward Todd Skirving 18 yrs old
Forward Marcus Basara 17 yrs old

Defence Steve Weinstein 20 yrs old
Defence Adam Thompson 20 yrs old

Goaltender Blake Voth 18 yrs old

Alot of Viper fans never liked this trade from Day 1 nor did they like Curtis Gedig. If the Vipers never pulled off this trade, word was Penticton, Westside & even Salmon Arm were all very interested in Gedig. Were the Vipers a better team with or without Gedig? Nobody will know, would the Vipers still have won the RBC Cup without Gedig? Most likely. The Vipers had 13 veterans back from the previous season and had a very veteran skilled hockey club. I have to say whether you liked or disliked Curtis Gedig or this trade, Vernon still won the RBC Cup and Gedig was one of if not the Vipers best player at the RBC Cup. Curtis really stepped up his game come the Royal Bank Cup and was by far Vernon’s best d-man and again one of if not the Vipers best player. Sure the Vipers are losing two great kids in Amies & Robak but Mark Ferner took a chance with this trade and in the end I think you have to say it paid off as Vernon won their second straight National Championship.

Mark Ferner said in yesterday’s paper he was going to announce some more new recruits over the next two weeks.

I’d like to thank Darrin for his stay in Vernon and being part of the Vipers RBC Cup team. I wish you all the best in Cowichan and hope you never forget your time as a Viper.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vernon-Cowichan Trade:

This is posted on the Capitals website:

Capitals Welcome Darrin Robak & Greg Ferguson

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Cowichan Capitals have added Defenceman Darrin Robak (91) to their roster, along with Forward Greg Ferguson (91). Robak comes via trade from the RBC Championship Vernon Vipers, as part of the Curtis Gedig deal last November, where as Greg Ferguson comes via trade with Weyburn Redwings, as part of the Drew George deal last December. These transactions conclude the deals for both Gedig & George.

Robak played 17 games for Vernon, picking up 2 goals and 7 assists. Robak, who hails from Red Deer, is 6'2" and 185 pounds. Robak is a very good all around defenceman with good offensive skills. He also brings a physical presence as well to the Capitals defence.

Greg Ferguson played 47 games for Weyburn, collecting 9 goals and 10 assists. Ferguson is from Govan, Sasketchewan is 6" and 180 pounds. He has very good offensive skills and is very strong around the net.

The Capitals coaching staff is very excited to have the opportunity to be working with both Darrin and Greg and would like to welcome them to the team.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Basara Bonus Vipers' Recruit:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Basara bonus Vipers' recruit

Published: June 12, 2010

Some say he plays much like Sahir Gill. And while Mark Ferner hasn’t seen Marcus Basara play, he knows the Vernon Vipers are getting a top-six forward in Marcus Basara of Coquitlam.

“We’ve heard different reports, but I had a long talk with him and his family, and he’s a very smart kid,” said Ferner. “We know he has good speed and is gifted offensively. He loves to scores goals.”

Listed by the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders after being bypassed in the Bantam Draft, the 5-foot-10, 162-pounder led the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League with 37 goal and 65 points in 43 games last season.

The Hounds successfully defender their national championship Telus Cup, in April, in Quebec.

Basara actually approached the Vipers so Ferner’s job to sell the Vipers’ program was made easier.

“I think one of the reasons we got him (over Prince Albert) is he spent three years in Saskatchewan and he had had enough. We didn’t know if we had a chance at signing him. He should be a two-year player for us.”

The Vipers lose the core of their two-time defending Royal Bank Cup roster and Ferner has a handful of other elite recruits to announce in the next two weeks. Vernon’s training camp opens Aug. 23 at Wesbild Centre.

Meanwhile, Rylan Ferster is the new head coach/GM of the Revelstoke Grizzlies.

Ferster earlier this week left the Salmon Arm SilverBacks of the B.C. Hockey League as head coach/GM. He replaces Vernon’s Troy Mick, who recently joined the Pursuit of Excellence academy in Kelowna.

“We are extremely excited as an ownership group to have Rylan join our hockey club,” said Mick, who helped the Kootenay International League champion Grizzlies with the hiring process. “This will help us continue our goals of developing hockey players to the next level and produce a team that all of Revelstoke can be proud of, and continue the winning tradition.

Said Ferster: “I`m extremely excited to be part of the Revelstoke Grizzlies This will be a huge task of course with the team coming off a championship season. One that I and the rest of the staff will embrace and work hard to duplicate.”

Mick said Ferster, who helped the Vernon Lakers win the 1990 Centennial Cup on home ice, “has seven years of junior A coaching experience and brings a ton of knowledge and leadership skills that we were looking for. He has coached at the junior A level his whole career and also has coached teams at the international level with Team Canada West.”

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vernon Vipers 2010-11 Regular Season Schedule:

The BCHL released the 2010-11 regular season schedule the other day with the season getting underway on Friday, September 10th. The Vernon Vipers will start defend of their National Title Friday, September 10th when they will hoist their 6th National Championship banner to the rafters vs the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in a home and home series that weekend. The Vipers will play nine home and home series, and play six straight on the road on the team's longest road trip of the season. The Vipers longest home stand is four straight on home ice. A rematch of last year's BCHL league final vs the Powell River Kings will take place on Wednesday, November 17th in Powell River & Friday, January 21st in Vernon. The Coquitlam Express will face the Vipers for the first time since 2005, on Friday, November 19th. The Burnaby Express moved to Coquitlam at the end of last season. The Vipers play nine home games on Fridays, eleven Saturday night, three Tuesday night, one Wednesday, two Thursday night along with three Sunday afternoon games. Vernon will finish the regular season Sunday, February 20th vs Quesnel.

Vernon Vipers 2010-11 Regular Season Schedule:

Friday, September 10th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Saturday, September 11th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7:00 pm

Friday, September 17th Vernon @ Penticton 7:00 pm

Saturday, September 18th Penticton @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Tuesday, September 21st Merritt @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, September 24th Vernon @ Prince George 7:00 pm

Saturday, September 25th Vernon @ Quesnel 7:30 pm

Sunday, September 26th Vernon @ Prince George 3:00 pm

Friday, October 1st Vernon @ Trail 7:30 pm

Saturday, October 2nd Cowichan Valley @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Sunday, October 3rd Vernon @ Merritt 2:00 pm

Wednesday, October 6th Quesnel @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, October 8th Vernon @ Westside 7:00 pm

Saturday, October 9th Westside @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, October 15th Vernon @ Trail 7:30 pm

Saturday, October 16th Trail @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, October 22nd Vernon @ Penticton 7:00 pm

Saturday, October 23rd Quesnel @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Sunday, October 24th Prince George @ Vernon 2:00 pm

Friday, October 29th Vernon @ Quesnel 7:30 pm

Saturday, October 30th Victoria @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, November 5th Vernon @ Merritt 7:30 pm

Saturday, November 6th Prince George @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, November 12th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Saturday, November 13th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7:00 pm

Wednesday, November 17th Vernon @ Powell River 7:00 pm

Friday, November 19th Vernon @ Coquitlam 7:00 pm

Saturday, November 20th Vernon @ Langley 7:00 pm

Sunday, November 21st Vernon @ Surrey 4:00 pm

Friday, November 26th Trail @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, December 3rd Westside @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Saturday, December 4th Vernon @ Westside 7:00 pm

Sunday, December 5th Surrey @ Vernon 2:00 pm

Wedmesday, December 8th Vernon @ Cowichan Valley 7:00 pm

Friday, December 10th Vernon @ Victoria 7:15 pm

Saturday, December 11th Vernon @ Alberni Valley 7:00 pm

Sunday, December 12th Vernon @ Nanaimo 3:00 pm

Friday, December 17th Vernon @ Penticton 7:00 pm

Wednesday, December 29th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7:00 pm

Thursday, December 30th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Saturday, January 1st Penticton @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Thursday, January 6th Langley @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, January 7th Vernon @ Westside 7:00 pm

Saturday, January 8th Westside @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, January 14th Vernon @ Quesnel 7:30 pm

Saturday, January 15th Vernon @ Prince George 7:00 pm

Tuesday, January 18th Merritt @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, January 21st Powell River @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Saturday, January 22nd Coquitlam @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Tuesday, January 25th Salmon Arm @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, January 28th Prince George @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Saturday, January 29th Vernon @ Trail 7:30 pm

Wednesday February 2nd Nanaimo @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Friday, February 4th Alberni Valley @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Saturday, February 5th Penticton @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Wednesday, February 9th Vernon @ Salmon Arm 7:00 pm

Friday, Febriary 11th Merritt @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Tuesday, February 15th Vernon @ Merritt 7:00 pm

Friday, February 18th Trail @ Vernon 7:00 pm

Sunday, February 20th Quesnel @ Vernon 2:00 pm

New Rules On Fighting IN BCHL:

Trail Smoke Eaters Play by play man, Shawn Mullin has a good write up on the League's new fighting rules for this coming season. For more on the new fighting rules and Shawn's thoughts check out his write up on his Smoke Eaters blog,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Grizzlies Name Former Vernon Laker Ferster New Head Coach-GM:

This is posted on the Grizzlies website:

Grizz hire new bench boss....

Friday, June 11, 2010 - Submitted by Grizz Staff

Press Release

June 10, 2010

The Revelstoke Grizzlies Hockey Club today is proud to announce that Rylan Ferster has agreed to be the next General Manager & Head Coach of the Grizzlies.

We are extremely excited as an ownership group to have Rylan join our Hockey Club…stated Troy Mick. This will help us continue our goals of developing hockey players to the next level and produce a team that all of Revelstoke can be proud of and continue the winning tradition.

“I`m extremely excited to be part of the Revelstoke Grizzlies. I first off want to thank the ownership group for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this model franchise. This will be a huge task of course with the team coming off a Championship season. One that I and the rest of the staff will embrace and work hard to duplicate.” Says Rylan

Rylan has been a coach at the Jr A level for over 7 years and brings a ton of knowledge and leadership skills that we were looking for. He has coached at the Jr A level his whole career and also has coached teams at the International level with Team Canada West at the World Jr A Challenge.

He was the GM of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks of the BCHL this past season and is looking forward to getting behind the bench in Revelstoke.

We are extremely happy and honored to have him join our organization.


Revelstoke Grizzlies Ownership Group

D-Backs Battle Joneses:

This was in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

D-Backs battle Joneses

Published: June 10, 2010

Five weeks after helping the Vipers claim their second straight Royal Bank Cup, hockey stars Connor and Kellen Jones are back on the diamond.

Huge baseball lovers, the twins and the Trail Orioles face the Vernon ANAF Diamondbacks in a doubleheader Saturday (2 p.m.) at Marshall Field.

Trail is coming off a strong start to the Okanagan Major Baseball League season, including three mercy-rule victories against the expansion Penticton Pirates, one of which was a Connor Jones no-hitter.

The D-Backs enjoyed a strong 6-0 start to the season.

“We are playing good baseball, but we’re up against some pretty good teams (Kelowna Jays and Kamloops Sun Devils),” said pitcher Kyle Anderson.

“We need to play perfect baseball in order to beat those teams.”

The Diamondbacks fell 13-4 to the Kelowna Jays on Wednesday night at Elks Stadium, committing seven errors.

“We didn’t have our best defensive game,” said shortstop Oggie “The eighth inning was our downfall.”

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Basara Opts For BCHL's Vipers, Not WHL's Raiders:

This was in the Prince Albert Daily Herald Newspaper:

Basara opts for BCHL's Vipers, not WHL's Raiders

by John MacNeil

Published on June 9th, 2010

Marcus Basara has politely declined an invitation to join the Prince Albert Raiders.

The Raiders had been courting Basara since they listed the speedy forward last fall, but he decided this week to sign with the junior A Vernon Vipers in his native British Columbia.

Basara, the top scorer with the Canadian midget champion Notre Dame Hounds this past season, wants to remain eligible to play U.S. college hockey, so he opted against the WHL.

“I had a good, long conversation with both my parents and we came to the conclusion that I couldn’t really make the decision to go to the WHL yet,” Basara said from the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame campus in Wilcox, Sask.

“I really wanted to go the NCAA route because that’s kind of where I grew up. I grew up around the BCHL and watching it and seeing those guys develop in that league (and move on to U.S. college). It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.

“The WHL was never really too much of an option (for me). It being presented to me this year has been a huge confidence boost in my career so far.”

Raiders player-personnel director Dale Derkatch and coach-GM Bruno Campese had multiple meetings with Basara and expressed their confidence in his ability to play major junior.

The 17-year-old winger from Coquitlam, B.C., attended Prince Albert’s spring camp just two weeks ago and he continued to weigh his hockey options.

“I just made up my mind, probably on the weekend,” Basara said. “I knew I had to come to a conclusion on what I wanted to do. And I did that. It was tough. It really was. I wouldn’t lie to you. It was on my mind quite a bit and I just wanted to get it off my mind.

“It was a huge decision that took me a long time to make, because like I told both Bruno and Dale, I’d get up in the morning and sometimes I’d feel that I’d want to go to Vernon, and sometimes I’d get up in the morning and want to go to Prince Albert. It was just kind of a teeter-totter back and forth, not really knowing what I wanted to do.

“The thing about going to the BCHL, this route right now, is I can always still go back and play in the WHL one day, if that’s what I decide to do in the future. But the bad thing about it is you can’t really reverse the other way.”

The NCAA doesn’t permit major junior players to play within its ranks.

Basara hasn’t ruled out a jump to the WHL in the future, but his immediate plans are to report to Vernon for the 2010-11 season and try to earn a scholarship within a couple of years.

“I’m just going to play hockey and have some fun and see where it takes me,” said Basara, who has a week left in his Grade 11 studies at Notre Dame.

“I’m hoping to get some (scholarship) offers, playing in the BCHL. I know a lot of schools look at Vernon as a really highly touted place to get players, so I’m confident with where I’m going in that respect. It’s the path I felt my heart took.”

The Vipers have won back-to-back Royal Bank Cup titles as the Canadian junior A champions.

They scouted Basara last November in Prince Albert, while he was playing with the Hounds in the Ice Mania midget tournament.

“It’s going to be a new-look team,” Basara said of the Vipers. “We’re losing lots of older players to school and age, so it should be fun. I’m excited. Being a little bit closer to home, I know my parents are excited to be able to come watch me play.”

Basara and Notre Dame teammate Daniel Dale were among the top performers in fitness testing at the Raiders’ spring camp.

“I think Prince Albert has a great organization,” Basara said. “I thought everything with the way that whole camp was run was awesome. I had a lot of fun. It was really good to meet all the guys up there, and that option is always going to be there.”

Vipers Add Speed With Basara:

So far from what I have read and looked up on the internet, it looks as if the Vipers have scooped up another goal scorer for this coming season. The Vipers have signed Trevor Fitzgerald, Aaron Hadley, Todd Skirving and now 17 yr old forward, Marcus Basara. Basara is listed at 5”11, 165 lbs collecting (37-28-65) in 43 games last year with the Notre Dame Hounds. After losing two of the fastest players in the league last year (Jonathan Milhouse & Rob Short) adding someone quick like Basara will add a lot to the Vipers roster. Reports are he is very quick and has a nose for the net. Basara won the Telus Cup so knows what it takes to win a championship. Another player who was scouted by several other teams from other leagues including the BCHL. Reports out of the Prince Albert newspaper was Basara was highly recruited by the WHL Raiders and the BCHL Penticton Vees. You can bet Fred Harbinson will be choked losing Marcus to his arch rivals.

After doing some research on Basara, I went to the scouting news website where one scout said, prospect Marcus Basara cemented his reputation as legitimate D1 prospect in the second half of the 2010-2011 season. Another scout said, The most underrated NCAA D1 1993 DOB prospect in the province of Saskatchewan.

Welcome to Vernon Marcus! All the best this coming season with the Vipers.

Now let’s not all forget just because these kids have committed to play in Vernon, dosnt mean their going to be a Viper to start the season or even last the entire year with the Vipers. In past years a few recruits were scouted and brought in as top prospects but never produced so were traded early to start the BCHL regular season. Brett Switzer & Drew George are two that come to mind.

With four new recruits committed and a possible eight returning veterans back from last years championship team, let’s take a look at the Vipers updated roster.

Forward Bryce Kakoske 20 yrs old
Forward Patrick McGillis 19 yrs old
Forward David Robinson 20 yrs old
Forward Dylan Walchuk 18 yrs old
Forward Trevor Fitzgerald 17 yrs old
Forward Aaron Hadley 16 yrs old
Forward Todd Skirving 18 yrs old
Forward Marcus Basara 17 yrs old

Defence Steve Weinstein 20 yrs old
Defence Adam Thompson 20 yrs old
Defence Darrin Robak 19 yrs old

Goaltender Blake Voth 18 yrs old

Graeme Gordon Silences His Critics:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

Graeme Gordon silences his critics

by Viper staff Added 2010-06-10

Graeme Gordon has had his share of detractors in his three-year BCHL career, but his brilliant play during the Vipers’ 2010 playoff run proved them wrong.

One save puts his whole season in perspective. The score was 2-1 for the Vipers against the Powell River Kings in the seventh game of the Fred Page Cup. Late in the game, the Kings were coming on strong. Unexpectedly, the puck caromed off a Viper skate to an unmarked Chad Niddery, the Kings’ leading scorer. Niddery fired a shot that seemed destined for the top corner. Graeme was caught at the other side, but he threw himself across the net and deflected Niddery’s blast with his arm, to knock the puck off the outside of the right post and out of danger.

If Niddery had scored, the momentum would have swung to the Kings and it’s quite conceivable that they would have won that series. The Viper season would have been over.

Although Graeme then had a so-so game in the opening game against Spruce Grove, he bounced back with solid goaltending in the remainder of the series. He also opened the RBC tournament with an average effort, but again bounced back with championship-calibre goaltending.

He was at his best when the chips were down. He shut out the Brockville Braves in the semi-final game and put on a clinic in the championship final versus Dauphin. His best save in the Brockville game was a lightning-quick glove save on Scott Arnold, who came in on a breakaway.

In the RBC final, he robbed Shane Luke and the Vipers immediately took a 1-0 lead when Cory Kane turned up ice. Then, with the score still 1-0 and the Kings threatening, he fashioned two acrobatic pad saves and the Vipers wheeled back the other way, scoring through Dylan Walchuk. Two more goals within 48 seconds gave the Vipers an insurmountable lead, but a 1-1 score would have been quite different than 2-0.

When asked why he played so well in the playoffs, especially in the big games, he replied “I’m a pressure player, always have been. When our season’s on the line, I don’t want it to end, so I tend to step up.”

Goaltenders come under pressure, especially from certain fans who expect perfection. He says that he doesn’t “pay any attention to that during the season. I did read some of the comments on the BCHL message board after the RBC and had a good laugh. But like Patrick Roy said, “I can’t hear what you’re saying, I’ve got my championship rings plugging my ears!”

Graeme Gordon’s goaltending style, as evidenced by that game saver versus Powell River, can be quite acrobatic. He moves very well for a 6’2’’ player. He says, “I rely a lot on my athletic ability. During the summer, I work on technique a lot, but as the season progresses I rely on instincts and reflexes. I just play aggressively; I try to play big and cut off angles, so the puck hits me. Every once in a while, emergency saves are necessary.”

Please note that it’s not easy playing goal for the Vipers, who outshot the opposition in nearly every game this season, often by a wide margin. Some would say that Graeme’s excellent statistics are a direct result of having a strong team in front of him. While there is some truth in that statement, note these numbers:

•Graeme recorded six shutouts this season, five of them in the extended playoffs.

•His consecutive shutout streak of 205 minutes, 57 seconds, over three full games and parts of two others, likely set a BCHL playoff record.

•His overall playoff save percentage of 91.56 was better than his regular season percentage of 91.21.

•His 1.90 goals against average, 92.40 save percentage, and 4 shutouts led all goaltenders in this year’s BCHL playoffs.

Numbers tell quite a story, but Graeme Gordon’s worth to the 2009-10 Vipers is measured in more than just statistics. Did he make the big save when it was absolutely necessary? Was he focused in the critical games? When he wasn’t playing, did he contribute through his cheerleading and positive attitude? The answers are yes, yes, and yes again.

As this article is being written, Graeme’s future is undecided. He says, “Hopefully, there’s still a chance for a Div 1 (NCAA) scholarship. If not, there are options at Canadian universities or in the pro ranks. No matter what happens, I’ve had two awesome years here. I want to thank Dr. Wray and his organization, and I especially thank Ferns for pulling me out of Merritt. It’s been unreal.”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Former Vernon Lakers Forward Ferster Leaves Silverbacks:

Salmon Arm begins search for Coach/GM after departure of Ferster

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - Submitted by BCHL Media

Salmon Arm SilverBacks owner Randy Williams has announced a leadership change in the team’s Hockey Operations department following the resignation of Head Coach and General Manager Rylan Ferster on Wednesday. Rylan will remain with the club until the end of June and assist in the transition process of hiring a new coach.

Ferster re-joined the SilverBacks organization in October of 2007 and spent two seasons as Head Coach and three as General Manager. The club finished with a record of 92-56-7-7 over that span, including a fourth-place finish in the Interior Conference during the 2009/10 season.

Ferster was also a member of the coaching staff for the club’s first three seasons where he led the 2003-2004 team to the League Finals. That same year, Salmon Arm finished 1st overall in the BCHL with 42 wins. 2008-2009 was another successful year as Ferster coached the roster to 40 wins and onto the Interior Finals versus the rival Vernon Vipers.

In addition, Rylan has represented the SilverBacks on an international level the past two years with Team Canada West at the World Junior "A" Championships. During his first appearance at the tournament, Ferster was an Assistant Coach. Last year, Team Canada appointed Ferster as the Head Coach. Each roster skated to silver medals.

"On behalf of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks Hockey Club, I would like to thank Rylan for his contributions to our organization over the past three years," says Williams. "He and I have worked very closely since his hiring and I’m fully supportive of him moving on to an opportunity that I feel is in the best interests of Rylan and his family."

"I’ve always believed that helping players and staff reach their personal goals is the hallmark of a great organization. We’ll now move forward by filling the vacancy left by Rylan and working harder than ever to build the Championship team that SilverBacks fans and the community of Salmon Arm deserve."

Ferster plans to remain in junior hockey and expects details of his new position to be announced shortly.

"It was a difficult decision to leave the SilverBacks after three very enjoyable seasons," says Ferster. "First, I would like to thank owners Randy and Terry Williams for giving me the opportunity to return to Salmon Arm and be a part of the SilverBacks organization. I’ve had an excellent working relationship with Randy, the team’s staff and the hockey fans of Salmon Arm. I leave knowing that the club will continue to be one of the top organizations in Junior A hockey for years to come."

"Secondly, I would like to recognize some people that I have had the pleasure of working with over the past six years. My friendship with Shawn Rogers, the team’s Director of Marketing, made it an easy decision to return to the SilverBacks for a second time. It goes without saying that I need to thank trainer Jamie Walters for the dedication and time that he has committed to the organization."

"I also want to recognize both Mickey and Heather Sims for their friendship during our time together with the team and my friend Myron Crown for being our home game announcer and a personal mentor. I cannot thank team Chaplin Dave Penner enough for all his guidance and wisdom he offers to our players. Thanks to Jill Bingham as the billet coordinator and to Ken Wood, who has been the club’s educational coordinator. Jill and Ken have been involved since the team’s inaugural season. And thank you to Gerry Hay for organizing all the game night officials every time we played at home. And of course Ron Flockhart for being such a great role model while helping the players improve their game during practice".

"I would also like to offer huge thanks to every billet family for opening up your homes and allowing our players to be a part of your day-to-day lives. Thanks for the countless hours from all of the volunteers who allow us to open the doors on game night. Thanks to Roy Sakaki and Salmon Arm Minor Hockey plus Dale Berger and the Sunwave Centre staff for being so supportive and a part of our hockey family. We would not be able to operate without the financial contribution from all of our corporate sponsors, many of whom I know firsthand. And last but not least, thank you to the players. The commitment you put forth being a SilverBack and a member of our community is unparalleled."

"Salmon Arm has become home and my family and I will continue to live here. My wife owns a business in this community and it’s where we want to raise our daughters."

Meanwhile, Williams says that the search for a new Head Coach will begin immediately.

"I’m committed to selecting a candidate who will meet our high standards on the ice while continuing to make the SilverBacks an excellent stepping stone for student athletes on their path to university hockey and the NHL."

Raiders Court Speedy Basara:

This was in the Prince Albert Newspaper:

Raiders court speedy Basara

Published on March 30th, 2010

John MacNeil

Prospect led Saskatchewan midget AAA champion Hounds in regular-season scoring

SASKATOON — Notre Dame Hounds forward Marcus Basara would bring “world-class speed” to the Prince Albert Raiders, says his midget AAA coach, Del Pedrick.

The Raiders added Basara to their WHL protected list this past season, during which he was the top scorer with the Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League champion Hounds.

“It’s nice to watch that young man skate,” Pedrick said of the rookie from Coquitlam, B.C. “He uses his speed and he’s got a good nose for the net. Offence is his forte — where you have to work with him is on the defensive side of the puck.

“I don’t know if he’ll end up in P.A., or not. If he does go to P.A., I know that Dale (Derkatch) and the people up there will definitely look after him.”

Derkatch is the Raiders’ director of player personnel. And he was Pedrick’s predecessor as the director of hockey at Notre Dame.

The Regina-based Derkatch met with Basara early this season and the Raiders listed him soon after.

“We’ve been talking ever since,” said Basara, who turned 17 last month. “I chat with Dale quite a bit, because he’s always at N.D. We keep in touch. I’m excited for that (opportunity with the Raiders).”

Passed over in his WHL bantam draft year, mainly because of his size, Basara enrolled at Notre Dame last season and played midget AA.

This season, he stepped up to midget AAA and led the Hounds with 37 goals and 65 points in 43 games.

“I like to score goals — that’s my favourite thing to do,” Basara said with a smile after the Hounds beat the Saskatoon Contacts 4-1 in the fifth and deciding game of the SMHL final.

Basara, almost five-foot-11 and about 165 pounds, has added six goals and 11 points in 13 playoff games. The Hounds, reigning Telus Cup national champions, are off to the Western region championship this weekend in Morden, Man.

Basara, a Grade 11 student, already has multiple options for next season. The junior A Hounds of the SJHL and Penticton Vees of the BCHL are among the teams that are courting the sniper.

“I’m still weighing out my options and just seeing whatever comes my way,” he said.

“I think the decision will come (down to) whether I want to go back to B.C., or stay in Saskatchewan.”

Basara plans to attend the Raiders’ spring camp — an entirely off-ice weekend — in late May in Prince Albert.

“Yeah, for sure, I think I’ll do that,” he said. “Just to get a little more feel for the Raiders’ organization, and go from there.”

One of Basara’s teammates with Notre Dame is Raiders prospect Daniel Dale, a grinding forward who attended Prince Albert’s main training camp last summer.

Basara, a right-winger, believes that his speed will serve him well wherever he plays next season.

“I feel I have an extra gear that I can use,” he said.

“I like to use my speed, and see the other guys on the ice. I like to take the puck to the net, cause chances, and get on the backcheck. Go both ways and try to score goals.”